Wednesday, August 21, 2013



Madness, at its best. Should I name a star
after you that rises in the west and sets in the east
and later gouge its eyes out like a cartouche
on an obelisk I erected when you were
the queen of heaven, and I was pointed
in the right direction, make a course correction
and say the compass lied? Things just
reverse spin sometimes. The moon
gets stuck in your throat like your last thin dime
in a telephone booth, and everything you feel
is long distance after that, a soothsayer
parsing aorist oracles in his sleep, as he grinds his teeth.

Would you understand, would you know
what it means to enshrine what you’ve laboured
to love the longest in the ore of meteoric metaphors
with nickel-iron swords at the core of the rock
I keep pulling out and falling upon
like the significant absurdity of a peasant king
who refuses to sit on any throne he can’t abdicate
on a whim. I want to wing it on the wind
like a maple key, or the silhouette of a crow
in the locket of the moon. But know this,
consider this wisely as a starmap on a lake,
crazy as I am not to care what I sound like
when the stars confide what’s in their hearts
to the leaves of the silver Russian olives,
there’s a magnificent abyss without a view
of anyone when you come before them
like a lover’s ledge no one’s ever lept from
precipitously enough for you to believe
the inconceivable has fallen in love with you
like a discontinued theme song that never
made a big hit on the bottom you’ve been reaching for
like the bedrock of a water palace whose depths
are way over your head like a waterclock
you weren’t counting like a lover to show up on time
at your door. Can you hear my words ticking by
as if they were sword- dancing with their own shadows
like galaxies and sundials, Sufis and Buddhas
comparing mirages at a crossroads in the desert
and laughing because so much is missing
from the message they have to humour the medium
into making a surprise appearance at her own seance.

The underage magician is pulling doves and crows
from behind your ears and releasing them
from your privatized aviary like voices
breaking their parole like a love song they’ve
been singing too long in the choir of a false dawn
at a sky burial for lapwings on a pyre of crutches
that weren’t even real, that never got the feel
of spreading their feathers out on the lake
like wild swans getting ready to take off in the moonlight
with no cause for alarm among the stars
they leave in their wake like the Milky Way
rising over the horizon of the flightpath they’re on
like a catalpa tree in the spring, or a road of ghosts
beyond the gateways of the starfields in the autumn,
a scar of light on the wounded waters of life
that heal themselves like eyes that have cried enough
to return like the rivers of paradise
through the burning gates of Eden as if, water
only once, but you get to jump through the same fire twice.


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